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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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GradNation Community Summit at NMSU to focus on technology, business and education

The GradNation Community Summit at New Mexico State University, taking place on April 1, will focus on the roles of technology, business and education stakeholders in improving high school graduation rates in the region. The summit is a free event, but registration is required and available at http://ssc.nmsu.edu/gradnation/. The deadline to register is March 30.


The summit will take place from 8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Corbett Center Student Union?s Ballrooms. There will be a community track and a student track for participants. The community track will include participants from education, business, civic organizations, non-profits, government, higher education, parents and students from Dona Ana County. Fifteen high school students and 220 middle school students from the Las Cruces Public Schools and Hatch Valley Public Schools are attending the student track. In addition, NMSU student leaders will engage with the attendees.

After the welcome, Fernando Valle, an associate professor of Educational Leadership at Texas Tech University, will present the morning keynote address titled ?Collective Power of Stakeholders? at 9:30 a.m. to the community track. Valle?s i3 Innovation and SEED federal grant work inform his teaching and research. His current work in urban and rural school districts examines stakeholder voices and successful distributive and transformative practices in secondary schools. Concurrent sessions on technology, business and education will follow.

At noon, Esther Devall, academic department head of the Family and Consumer Sciences Department and the Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Department at NMSU, will provide a lunch keynote speech on engaging family and community for student success. As a faculty member, Devall has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in human development, family dynamics and family therapy. Her areas of research are parenting, family resilience, single-parent families and culturally diverse families. Devall has been awarded more than $13 million in federal and state grants for providing family strengthening programs and evaluating their effectiveness.

The community track will conclude with a panel on high school graduation and postsecondary/career success with Gloria Rendon, executive director of the New Mexico Coalition of Educational Leaders; Denni Cheney, president and CEO of the Bridge of Southern New Mexico; New Mexico Sen. William Soules; Melanie Goodman, field representative for U.S. Sen. Tom Udall; Terry Cook, assistant vice president for Student Engagement at NMSU, and Octavio Casillas, principal at La Academic Dolores Huerta Charter Middle School.

NMSU?s summit is one of 100 happening around the nation as part of the GradNation campaign, led by America?s Promise Alliance, to raise high school graduation rates to 90 percent by 2020.

The premier sponsor of the national GradNation Community Summits initiative is AT&T, whose support is part of AT&T Aspire, the company?s $350 million commitment to graduate more students from high school ready for college and career. Local sponsors include Bravo Dealerships of Las Cruces and El Paso and NMSU.

For more information and to view the summit agenda visit: http://ssc.nmsu.edu/gradnation/.